Lessons in Responsibility

Lessons in ResponsibilityGuest Post by Cathy Laffan

Christopher Avery here. With pleasure I welcome Cathy Laffan again to this blog. Cathy is an innovative executive with a global financial services firm. She shares a love for responsible leadership. Read more about Cathy at the end of her post. Enjoy.

Now that I am aware of The Responsibility Process™, I learn lessons in responsibility from all aspects of my life.

Two important women in my life regularly teach me lessons without even knowing it. Meet ‘Jane’ and ‘Lucy.’

These two women have many things in common, including; humble beginnings, upsets in life, devoted wives and mothers, religious beliefs, financial limitations, illness, and being big-hearted, caring, and genuine.

Despite these similarities, Jane and Lucy deal with life’s upsets very differently.

When Jane experiences one of life’s upsets, without fail, her first reaction is denial. She only moves out of denial when the upset becomes so big that it is impacting others.

As she processes the upset, she talks in terms of Blame, Shame, Justifications, and Obligations. Others in her life become uncomfortable with her struggle, they want better things for her, and so they give unwanted advice or help.

This only escalates the upset since Jane is then perceived as being difficult for not taking the advice or accepting the help. This cycle goes round and round but it never results in ‘Jane’ living in responsibility.

When I listen to Jane talk about an upset, it is clear that she believes that she has no options to resolve the upset. Jane seeks input from anyone and everyone but often reacts to the options they offer by not believing that the options are things that she is capable of doing.

As a result, Jane remains stuck in the upset and the related chaos and drama.

Lucy, on the other hand, reacts differently depending on the type of upset. She often starts from a place below the line of responsibility.

As she processes the upset, she talks in terms of looking for the truth in her situation and discovering options. As a result of looking, Lucy discovers that there are options to resolve her upset.

When I listen to Lucy talk about an upset, it is clear that she is selective about discussing these situations with others, which reduces the likelihood that she’ll get unwanted help or advice.

Generally, Lucy chooses an option to resolve her upset from a place of responsibility. As a result, Lucy moves through the upset and her life moves forward in a positive direction.

Lucy comes across as a positive, happy person who sees that there are choices in life.
When I have an upset in life, I choose people like ‘Lucy’ to help me see the truth and the possible options.

Knowing The Responsibility Process has raised my awareness that I can learn valuable lessons from others. Through these lessons and my responsibility practice, I am growing in how I react to upsets in my life and how I interact with others during their upsets.

As Jessica Soroky so aptly said in a recent blog, This Responsibility Stuff is Hard. Keep practicing, it’s worth it!

CL Nov 2013_cropCathy Laffan

Cathy Laffan is a member of  The Leadership Gift™ Program and recently accredited as The Leadership Gift Practitioner. She is a Managing Director with 24 years of experience working for a leading global financial services firm. She has 20 years of experience in the project management field and is certified as a Project Management Professional.

A champion of flexible work arrangements, Cathy has been working remotely full-time for 4 years. Cathy is also a Toastmaster and has earned the Competent Communicator and Competent Leader designations from Toastmasters International.

Posted in Responsibility on 07/15/2014 07:11 am
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